Record Snows in the Pacific Northwest in 2019-2020

Author: Climatologist Cliff Harris Published: 3/14/2014

Climatologist Cliff Harris has been often rated as one of the top ten climatologists in the world for nearly 4 decades. Cliff Harris’ long-range weather forecasts have been used by high-ranking government officials and quoted in USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, The Wall Street Digest, Farm Journal, Top Producer, Successful Farming, Futures Magazine, The Boston Globe and many other publications.

One of the coldest and snowiest winter seasons in recorded history east of the Rockies, especially east of the Mississippi River, will end this coming Thursday, March 20, with the long-awaited arrival of the spring of 2014.

The ice coverage this winter of 2013–14 in early March on the Great Lakes of Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario reached a near-record 92.2%, exceeded only by the all time record of 94.7% in 1979 when Niagara Falls also froze over. On March 9 of this year, Lake Champlain, located on the New York and Vermont borders, likewise froze solid for the first time in several years.

The snows in upper Michigan were so deep this winter that people were driving around in tunnels. The snows extended deep into the heart of Dixie were Jonesboro, Arkansas set a new record for the total seasonal snowfall. Atlanta had a crippling snowstorm in late January and another snowstorm that closed schools and businesses less than two weeks later in early February.

Grand Forks, North Dakota, as of March 14, observed an all-time record 92 days below zero this winter season, easily surpassing the previous mark set in 1978-79 of 73 such bitterly cold mornings. What happened to ‘global warming’?


The late-winter period locally in North Idaho was also cold and snowy. We had several days of near or below zero temperatures and a whopping near-record 50.2 inches of snow between January 28 and March 3 in Coeur d’Alene with nearly 70 inches of the white stuff gauged in the Twin Lakes area in that five-week time span.

The big question that I’ve received from numerous Press subscribers and others concerns just when I see a possible record cold and snowy winter season across North Idaho and the surrounding Inland Empire even worse than 2007-08.

If I’m right with my long-range weather prognostications for the region, six years from now in the winter of 2019-20, I foresee at least 215 inches of snow being measured locally in Coeur d’Alene between October 2019 and April 2020, easily smashing our current record of 172.9 inches of snow set back in 2007-08, when many buildings collapsed in late December and early January in the region.

During the winter of 2019-20, it’s possible that some of the snowiest areas of North Idaho in Rathdrum, Twin Lakes and Priest Lake, may gauge as much as 250 inches of the white stuff. Lookout Pass, along the Montana and Idaho border, could measure as much as 600 inches of snow, if my extremely snowy forecast for 2019-20 turns out to be right on target.

Not only will the winter of 2019-20 be unbelievably snowy, but it will likewise be much colder than normal throughout the inland Northwest, much like the current expiring winter of 2013-14 east of the Rockies.

The climatological reasons for my predicted record cold and snowy winter six years from now stem from my opinion that we will see a massive collision of the various cycles that produce such extremely wintry conditions in the Inland Empire.

I see the strongest cold water ‘La Nina’ in recorded history developing by mid 2019 in the eastern Pacific Ocean regions. At the same time, we’ll be near a solar minimum in terms of sunspot activity. The frigid ‘circumpolar vortex’ should also back up bringing subzero Arctic air into our part of the country that for several months-on-end and will collide head-on with copious amounts of moisture from a stationary ‘Mother Low’ in the Gulf of Alaska that will build in the early mid to fall of 2019 and will endure until at least the early spring of 2020.

I see at least 85 to 90 days during the 2019-20 winter season with measurable snow in the Coeur d’Alene area. Average temperatures will run at least 6 to 10 degrees below normal all winter. Nearly 95% of all the precipitation that falls during the winter of 2019-20 in town will arrive in the form of snow compared with a normal winter season’s less than 40 percent due to frequently mild Pacific air masses scouring out the cold.

I’m predicting that January 2020 will break the all-time snowfall record of 82.4 inches set back in 1969, when there were likewise building collapses in the region. Oddly enough, January will probably be the only month with record snows in 2019-20.

As I said previously, only January 2020 should see a new monthly all time snowfall record. But, all the months from October 2019 through April 2020 will measure above normal amounts of snow. That’s the ‘recipe’ for a record snowy winter season that doesn’t quit.

As far as temperatures are concerned, I see at least 27 days in 2019-20 with subzero readings and two or three mornings below -20 degrees. But, will we break our all-time record low in Coeur d’Alene of -30 degrees set on January 30, 1950? I doubt it due to the extensive amounts of cloud cover.

More details here:


The sun hasn’t decided what it wants to do yet.


Another new solar sunspot record peak of 73.2 was set for Cycle 24 last month. It smashed the old 68.9 record peak set the previous month.

In a big surprise, it’s over six spots higher than the first sunspot peak set in early 2012 and will probably go up. A secondary peak that much above the first is almost unheard of.

The new sunspot peak is unusual for two conflicting reasons:

  1. The secondary peak is higher than the first
  2. Current physics suggests the solar cycle should be weakening

Conflicting signals coming from the sun muddles how it might affect earth’s future climate. A more active sun will have a warming effect. A less active sun, predicted by most solar physicists, will have a cooling effect.

The full article is HERE, however this maybe of most interest to readers of this blog:

Is the next Maunder Minimum at hand?

Three key pieces of evidence from a 2011 solar physics meeting suggest the sun is slipping into another prolonged period of solar inactivity:

  1. The solar jet stream for Cycle 25 is delayed
  2. Solar magnetic field strength is weakening
  3. Weakening of the poleward surge in coronal magnetism

Put all together, these three diverse results convinced most solar physicists in 2011 that Cycle 25 may be the weakest since the Maunder Minimum of the 1600s.

The current solar cycle, Cycle 24, is already the weakest in 100 years even with the resurgence of sunspot activity over the last six months.

The first official prediction for the peak of Cycle 25 is only seven spots!


The sun is sending mixed signals. Until six months ago all major measurements suggested the sun’s 11-year solar cycle was about to take a siesta for at least one cycle, maybe more.

The sun hasn’t been reading the scientific literature. Since last October it developed one of the highest secondary peaks compared to its first ever measured, if not the highest.

The secondary peak will probably go up again next month. No solar physicist saw it coming.

Are sunspots fading away, or coming back? At this point, nobody knows for sure what is going on or how it will affect climate change.

Thanks to Inform the Pundits for this article.

It’s official – Chicago experienced the coldest four months ever on record

Reminds me of this Ice Age Map:

Watts Up With That?

slide_331920_3300262_free[1] Weather Channel producer Shawn Reynolds tweeted this incredible photo taken by pilot Hank Cain of a tundra-like Chicago, from above on January 23rd, 2014 An over a century-old record falls.

The average temperature for December to March period in  Chicago was only  22.0°F, 10 degrees below freezing, beating the old record set in the winter of 1903-04. It even beat the harsh winters of 1977/78 which were some of the worst ever.

While stories rage in the media about how global warming is a threat to mankind and nobody will be left untouched by it, the National Weather Service in Chicago issued this statement today.

No, it isn’t an April fools joke.

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